Wednesday, June 7, 2017

easy lower-sugar strawberry compote

We got a big box of strawberries from Costco on sale today, and many of them were just about to be a tad too ripe.

A Mamatouille original compote!

You'll need:

  • halved strawberries to fill the bottom of a small saucepan (I had about 2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 15 drops stevia 
Do this:

Just simmer till the strawberries are a bit mushy, and be sure to clean up the sticky mess after it all overflowed when you left the lid on and went to manage your kids' teeth-cleaning time. Taste the compote and adjust flavors as needed. Do lots of extra dishes and take apart the stovetop to get in all the sticky cracks and crevices. 

Enjoy on your favorite compote-worthy food. 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

easy tuna curry salad lunch

There was leftover basmati rice in the fridge, so I pulled some tuna cans out and did some conjurin'.

You'll need:

  • cans of tuna, drained
  • cooked and reheated basmati rice
  • mayo
  • salt and pepper
  • curry powder, powdered coriander, cumin, and turmeric
  • onion and garlic (I used dried)
  • chopped walnuts
  • a dab of mango chutney
Do this:

Mix the tuna, mayo, spices, and walnuts, then serve over rice with a spoonful of mango chutney. Just a spoonful of chutney helps the yummy lunch go down. Sprinkle with a little dried parsley if you like the color green (I do).

Saturday, May 13, 2017

gluten-free dairy-free savoury rosemary-garlic drop biscuits

It was a dark-ish wet day, the kind of day that cried big raindrop-tears for soup. Also, I knew that I needed to get dinner in the slow cooker this morning, so hamburger soup it was. (Ground beef cooked in a pan, then added to the slow cooker with chopped carrots, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, peas, corn, water, canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, salt, pepper, basil, bay leaves, and beef bouillon cubes.)

And I was craving some kind of savoury biscuit to go with it (biscuit as in the American style: soft lumps of cooked dough, a bit crispy on the outside and mealy on the inside).

I've used this recipe from Elana's Pantry before, but today I heavily adapted it as I didn't have enough almond flour and I wanted to make it savoury and herby.

You'll need:
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup flaxseed meal
  • 1 cup gluten-free baking mix (just flours, salt, and baking powder; no sugar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • chopped rosemary from the front porch, powdered garlic, dried parsley, and Italian seasoning
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 + 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
Do this:

Mix dry ingredients and herbs and spices in a bowl, and in a separate bowl, beat eggs and oil together. Then blend the wet ingredients into the dry, and drop in big spoonfuls onto waxed paper on a baking sheet. Bake at 170 C/350 F for about 14 minutes.

Serve with soup and self-respect. 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

gluten- and dairy-free chocolate-strawberry mug muffins

The J-Bean is officially nine! He's always coming up with new and nifty food combinations, and he requested these for his birthday because "mug muffins are bigger than regular muffins."

I made up a recipe just for him, and now I will share it with you (even if it isn't your birthday).

You'll need:

  • a (greased) mug, of course 
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed (or other neutral-flavored) oil
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of baking soda
  • frozen-and-defrosted chopped strawberries (or double the amount of fresh, but boy howdy, the fresh ones are expensive in Japan right now)
  • fresh strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon sifted dark unsweetened fair-trade cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons almond flour
Do this:

Grab your partner (erm, greased mug), swing him round and round, and land him gently on your biggest work space. (If you live in Japan, granted, it won't be very spacious.)

Beat an egg in the mug, then stir in the oil, salt, baking soda, defrosted and chopped strawberries, cocoa powder, maple syrup, and almond flour. Stir well and lick that spoon because eggs are so nice in Japan you don't have to worry about salmonella.

Cook in your microwave for a couple minutes, then splash with some soy (or other dairy-free) milk, if you like. 

Top with fresh strawberries and birthday candles. Eat with a spoon, but don't forget to take the candle wax out first.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

round the world in however-many days

These guys were born and raised in New Zealand, hitched a ride to a Japanese Costco, and will be made into Italian-stuffed peppers by a British-American family tonight.

Hey, stay tuned! The Beans and I are working on a collaborative cookbook. It might be awhile, but we're having fun in the process.

Friday, January 20, 2017

sunshine smoothie

We celebrated sunshine yesterday with a bright-tasting smoothie: spinach, frozen mixed berries, carrot, apple, navel orange, fresh ginger.

Monday, January 2, 2017

new year's eve celebration grub

We hardly ever stay up till midnight because we know our sons will be up early the next morning anyway, but we like to celebrate in style no matter how early it is.

This year we stayed home, had communion together as a family (I found this so meaningful), had an appetizer dinner with sparkling juice, brownies, a board game, and then we went outside to shoot off some crackers (poppers that spit out confetti streamers). In bed before the new year and happier for it.
I made homemade hummus and veggie sticks, edamame, Paleo artichoke-spinach dip, a salami and cheese tray, German pickles, and our friend and Seattle neighbor Yetta's delectable curried deviled eggs (I used 9 eggs, mixed enough mayo with the yolks to moisten, and then added 2 teaspoons each of Dijon mustard and white-wine vinegar, plus 1/2 teaspoon curry powder). We said Happy Birthday to 2017 with a special birthday plate from my college friend, Holly. I do not have a photo of the brownies, but they were made with coconut flour and were outrageously delicious, moist, and dense. (The recipe is here on the Elana's Pantry website.) A happy, joyful 2017 to you all! May your days be filled with goodness, good food, and light.

Monday, December 19, 2016

easy lunch: rice + egg (korean style)

Easy lunch--layer rice, a fried egg, kimchi, and Korean dried seaweed. Nice warmth from the rice and egg, coolness from the cold kimchi, and crunch from the seaweed.

breakie: fancy scrambled eggs + fruitcake

Breakie: scrambled eggs with chopped bacon, garlic, and goat cheese, and leftover homemade Paleo fruitcake. Feeling fortified, cozy, and happy. (I had already eaten part of the scrambled eggs before I took the photo, so this was a substantial meal.)

Saturday, October 29, 2016

sweet-salty cinnamon pecan brittle

Hot diggity dog. It's Saturday night and I just made cinnamon-salty-sweet pecan brittle from Elana's Pantry. Pecans, egg white, honey, cinnamon, and sea salt. Heaven on parchment paper.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

savory-sweet roasted rosemary figs

My sons and I are working on a cookbook together, and as we were researching recipes to include, I came across this rosemary fig delight that I'd been wanting to make for ages (not necessarily to include in our cookbook, but just for fun and taste-bud happiness).

Well, I didn't have any figs, and I hadn't seen any in the stores lately so I assumed they had already gone out of season. I was bummed.

But LO AND BEHOLD, one of my neighbors pops round this afternoon with a box of four lovely local figs that her friend had given her. Yippee!

I don't know if you believe in God, but I've been having a rough week, and I knew these figs were a sweet present from him, a little box of "I love you" to me.

So I made the rosemary figs. They'd work great next to a meat dish, for sure, but my younger son, who is into all things Italian at the moment, made Italian-style meat-stuffed peppers with me for dinner, so I put these together for a mini dessert.

This recipe is from the book Practical Paleo.

You'll need:

  • figs, quartered and with the stems lopped off
  • fresh rosemary, minced 
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • coarse sea salt
Do this:

Preheat your trusty oven to 425 F or 220 C. 

Gather a roasting pan, put your quartered figs on, and sprinkle with the rosemary. Roast for about 10-15 minutes until the edges are a bit browned, then drizzle on a little olive oil and sprinkle a little sea salt.

These are a fantastic treat: warm, sweet, salty, soft, crispy. 



Wednesday, October 19, 2016

fried-tofu pizza crust

One of my neighbors has a thyroid specialist who gave her a recipe using fried tofu instead of a wheat crust for pizza. I didn't ask for the specific recipe, but I decided to run with it.

We have a tofu delivery lady who drives through our neighborhood every Friday evening, and I mentioned this idea to her. I told her that I don't eat dairy, but I wondered what she thought about using the tofu "cheese" that I sometimes buy from her. She was skeptical, but I told her I would try it anyway and let her know how it went.

So I purchased fried tofu and the tofu "cheese" from her, and made the unorthodox pizza for lunch today. You can see my husband's pizza on the left with dairy cheese, and the tofu version in the top photo and on the right in the photo below. It didn't melt, but it tasted spectacular. All four of us agreed that the tofu "cheese" version was the best. 
You'll need:

  • fried tofu
  • pizza toppings of choice (I used Canadian bacon, sliced boiled eggs, cheese (dairy or tofu), black pepper, parsley, and a squiggle of ketchup)
Do this:

Grab some olive oil and heat it up in a frying pan. Cook the fried tofu till crispy on one side, then flip. Add your toppings till heated and if you're using dairy cheese, it's melted. 

Plate it up and eat with a knife and fork. Then tell your tofu delivery lady that her skepticism was unwarranted, and show her the photos to prove it. Don't forget to thank her for her delicious tofu in all its various forms. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

refreshing grapefruit-mint jelly/jello/zeri

Depending on where you are from, you might call this jello, jelly, or zeri! Whatever you label it, the stuff was darn delicious.

I had a couple pink grapefruit that needed to be eaten, and lots of mint still from when one of the Beans picked a bag full at some friends' home, and I thought of jello.

I based my version on this recipe from Homespun Seasonal Living (and she in turn originally got it from The Joy of Cooking), but of course, as usual, I Mamatouille-ified it.

I did it my way! (Cue Sinatra soundtrack.)

You'll need:
  • two pink grapefruit, segments and juice
  • 1/4 c. honey
  • 3 massive mint leaves
  • 1 T. gelatin powder
  • cold water
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 jelly/jam jars
Do this:

Segment the grapefruit over a bowl to catch the juice, and save that gorgeous nectar for a bit later in the recipe (I collected 1/2 cup after segmenting and then squeezing the innards).

Divide the grapefruit segments among four small jars.

In a small separate bowl, stir and dissolve the gelatin in 1/4 c. cold water and leave to set.

Simmer 1/2 cup water, honey, and mint leaves till honey is dissolved, then turn off the heat. Remove your mint, then stir in the gelatin mixture until it dissolves. Allow it to come down to room temperature, add the grapefruit juice and pinch of salt, then divide equally among the four jars, pouring it over the grapefruit segments. Fridge it till it sets (at least a few hours).

Serve and enjoy, deeply relaxing in the sweet minty-citrus love. Especially good for a hot, muggy, rainy-season day like today.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

tag-team rhubarb crumble

A rare gift: rhubarb! I've never seen it for sale in our prefecture, but our friends gave us some that their mother sent from Nagano. Loveliness.


Joel and I went to work in the kitchen. First, the rhubarb filling for a crumble.

You'll need:
  • 5 stalks rhubarb
  • honey, to taste
  • cinnamon (or not, as you prefer)
  • freshly grated ginger
Do this:

Simmer it in a pot till soft and thickened, then spread in the bottom of individual ramekins or one bigger oven-proof pan.

And here's Joel's own recipe for the crumble topping.

You'll need:
  • 1/2 C. roasted unsalted cashews
  • 1/2 C. walnuts
  • 1/4 C. chia seeds
  • 2 T. coconut oil, melted
Do this:

In a food processor, pulse the cashews and walnuts till powdery, then process in the chia seeds and coconut oil.

Use your fingers to drop it on to the top of the rhubarb filling, then bake at 350 F/170 C for about 20 minutes or so. Enjoy the unique flavors and textures.



Saturday, June 11, 2016

cabbage-moringa-berry smoothie

Our with-lunch smoothie the other day:
  • 1 apple
  • 1 banana
  • 2 navel oranges
  • chopped Napa cabbage (hakusai in Japanese)
  • several teaspoons moringa powder
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • handful of mint leaves picked by a Bean at his friends' house
  • frozen mixed unsweetened berries
Blend. Drink. (Serves 4.)